RaNae Vaughn Iuka, MS
Thank you, Pvt. Baldwin, for your heroic sacrifice. Your memory will stay with us forever.
LACY CRUM WALNUT,MS.
REST IN PEACE.YOU ARE A AMERICAN HERO.
Lisa Cook Mooreville MS
Thanks to the Stephen Baldwyn Teachers Scholarship my daughter Darby Cook will be a senior this next school year at Old Miss Tupelo Campus completeing her secondary education degree in English and Family and Consumer sicence. Darby will graduate December 2013. I would like to say thank you to the Stephen Baldwyn Famliy.
Chance Reese Mooreville MS
Remember that picture from grad like it was yesterday. Stephen was one of my closest friends and miss him more than words could ever say!! I am proud to be able to tell my daughter i knew a real american hero!!
Christopher Upton Gulfport MS
Stephen worked for me at Camp Yocona for three summers. He was a great kid, smart, fun loving, witty and responsible. As a Boy Scout he was great with the younger kids on the camp staff and the campers. I still think about Stephen periodically and the "Mooreville 5" as he called his group of friends. He was a great kid who became a strong and good man who did his duty for God and country.
Rebecca Palmer Sheffield New Albany MS
Such an incredible honor to know him and had the opportunity to work with him at the Boy Scout camp. He was an awesome person to be around and always kept us laughing!
GRADUATING WITH HONORS
Private Stephen Baldwyn of Mooreville, MS
Died May 9, 2005 in Iraq
In May of 2004, Stephen Baldwyn stood with his friends from Mooreville High School decked out in his black graduation gown and mortar board. It was his second graduation ceremony in just two months. In March 2004, Stephen stood in a similar ceremony, except this time the dress code was his brand new United States Marine Corps uniform. He had completed his high school requirements early so he could begin boot camp in January. By the time his senior class was ready to walk, Stephen was there beside them. His long black gown hid the Marine uniform underneath. He was immensely proud to be both a soldier and a senior.
Stephen Baldwyn entered the Marine Corps for two main reasons. First, he wanted to see the world. Second, he wanted to get a college education and he knew the Corps would help him do that. Stephen had decided that he wanted to become a teacher, like his mother Stephanie Baldwyn, who spent 25 years teaching in Mooreville schools. He was able to accomplish the first goal. In his one full year of service, he spent time in Haiti, Germany, and Iraq. The second goal, Stephen’s dream of becoming a teacher, would never be fulfilled. Not because he didn’t want to, simply because he didn’t get the chance.
In May of 2005, Private First Class Stephen Baldwyn would return to Mooreville for one last ceremony. The same family and friends who watched him walk across the graduation stage 12 months earlier, would now watch as his flag draped casket was carried across the cemetery lawn to his final resting place. He was barely 19 years old. His life was taken by an explosion from a roadside bomb.
His loss left a gaping hole in the community. Hardin’s grocery store in Eggville, where Stephen often came in as a boy, put up a memorial to him on their wall. They just didn’t want anyone to forget him. But the way Stephen lived in his 19 years of life would ensure he would not be forgotten. He left behind a large group of people who loved him deeply. They would make sure his life would always be remembered.
In the years following his death, Stephanie Baldwyn endowed a scholarship for Mooreville High School students who wanted to pursue a career in teaching. This was her way of allowing Stephen’s second dream to be fulfilled. Each year, one student is chosen to receive the scholarship. A few years ago, Lauren Hardin was the recipient. Her family owns Hardin’s Grocery, the same store that Stephen would bounce into as a child. Next semester, Lauren will fulfill Stephen’s dream with Stephen’s help, becoming the first scholarship winner to graduate. Stephanie plans on being there at Mississippi State to see the ceremony. And as she watches a young woman named Lauren walk across the stage to receive her college diploma, she knows Stephen will be with her as well, with his Marine uniform hidden underneath his gown.
Read comments left by readers at the bottom of this page.
Want to pay tribute to the soldier in today's post?
Then post your comments using the form below. All comments will be reviewed before posting. Thank you for taking part in 40 Days of Honor.
PFC Stephen Baldwyn from Mooreville died just 2 days after turning 19 years old.
More photographs are listed below.
Read Previous 40 Days of Honor Posts
Click here to read our previous posts in 40 Days of Honor.
Post your comments in the section below. Comments will be reviewed before being posted to this page.
Make sure to click "submit" so your
comments will be submitted to us.